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Water Company Ordered To Stop Taking Water From San Bernardino Mountains

Activists overseeing a water pipeline in the San Bernardino National Forest during a site visit in 2022.
Michael O'Heaney
Activists overseeing a pipeline in the San Bernardino National Forest during a site visit in 2022.

After years of investigations and public hearings, California’s Water Resources Control Board has approved a ‘cease and desist’ order to stop most of BlueTriton Brand’s pumping of spring water out of the San Bernardino National Forest.

The unanimous decision will require the company that bottles Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water to leave millions of gallons of water in the national forest’s springs.

Activist Amanda Frye says the decision will bring life to Strawberry Creek and the Santa Ana River watershed located in San Bernardino County.

"This is a huge decision and I’m hoping that we can have Strawberry Creek restored again so that the springs flow, the ecosystem comes back and it returns to its perennial spring flow," said Frye.

In a statement, BlueTriton said it intends to defend its water rights through available legal means.

But, the Water Board has said the company doesn’t have water rights. Blue Triton has 30 days to file for reconsideration of the board’s decision.

For now, BlueTriton’s pumping will be drastically reduced.